Baseball Maddox Back in SD

Johan Santana #57

Bench Warmer
SAN DIEGO -- Greg Maddux will be back for his 23rd season, agreeing on Monday with the San Diego Padres on a $10 million, one-year contract, a source told ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney.
Mad Dog has 347 wins, four Cy Young Awards and a World Series championship won in 1995 with the Atlanta Braves. He'll turn 42 on April 14.

"From my talks with Greg this year, he had as much fun this year as any other time in his career," Padres manager Bud Black said Monday night. "It's no surprise to us that he wants to continue. He loves to compete."

Maddux's return as San Diego's No. 3 starter appeared inevitable after he went 14-11 with a 4.14 ERA this year in his first season with the Padres, who fell one win short of their third straight playoff appearance. All that remained to be done was some dickering between the team and agent Scott Boras.

Maddux had a player option for $8.75 million. Had he pitched 200 innings -- he finished with 198 -- the option price would have increased to $10 million. In addition, San Diego had a club option for $11 million.

The pitcher made $10 million last season.

The new deal contains award bonuses, a no-trade clause and a suite on road trips, a person familiar with the contract said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the Padres had not yet announced the agreement.

"He's still a very successful pitcher," Black said. "He wins games. That's the primary thing that I think all of us look at. But also what he brings as far as stability, leadership, wisdom. Those are the intangibles that we notice inside the clubhouse that we feel is also a great attribute that Greg brings to the club."

Maddux reached 13 wins for the 20th consecutive season, passing Cy Young for the major league record. He had a streak of 59 2/3 innings without issuing a walk and continued to look every bit the 16-time Gold Glove winner that he is.

"I think more than anything he has a great knack, a great awareness of how to disrupt the hitters' timing," Black said. "He locates the ball on both sides of the plate and he changes speeds, which is fundamental pitching."